Easing PTSD treatment with neurofeedback

A small minority of patients utilize the lion’s share of medical and behavioral health services. In this day and age, there is much talk about reducing the cost of health service delivery while simultaneously increasing the positive outcomes for patients. In order to accomplish these goals, new approaches and new methods will be necessary. It has been convincingly shown that stress, trauma and dysfunction during childhood significantly predicts a host of behavioral and mental health problems including smoking, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.

In fact, when it comes to PTSD, comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception. Comorbidity is likely due to altered development outcomes of brain development, as study have found changes in different brain areas associated with different types of abuse. While disparate treatments exist for each disorder, neurofeedback may represent an intervention with the capacity to address multiple problems simultaneously. This is because neurofeedback has been shown to alter connectivity patterns in individuals’ brains after a single session of training.

I’ve worked with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and the Trauma Center in Boston, MA to publish the only randomized controlled trial demonstrating neurofeedback’s efficacy for treating complex PTSD. Research data and clinical observations combine to support the contention that neurofeedback represents a concrete intervention that has the potential to reduce costs while simultaneously increasing patients quality of life. The applications are enormous; we have clinical cases that have shown improvement in everything from fibromyalgia to stuttering. Thus, this intervention should be of interest to a wide variety of mental health professionals, doctors, and nurses.

What is neurofeedback?

In a nutshell, Neurofeedback (otherwise known as EEG biofeedback) is a safe, effective form of biofeedback that targets and helps individuals operantly condition their brainwave activity. Individuals are seated in a comfortable chair, sensors are affixed to their scalp, and their EEG is fed into a computer. The clinician then uses pre-determined “thresholds” to give the patient feedback on their EEG, and help them change it over time.

Neurofeedback workshop

Join me for a free workshop on May 16, 2017 when I will be talking about the fundamentals of neurofeedback including a live demonstration of the technique. Information for anyone looking to become a practitioner will also be presented.

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